Welcome to my world and beyond...

A collection of snippets of the books I write and, occasionally, my life and the things that inspire my writing...

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Winter Predictions From My Crystal Ball

Today was lovely--in a wet kind of way.   The rain came and soaked down near-perfect autumn leaves.

I have watched autumns come and autumns go, and this has been one of the prettiest in a while.  I admit, sometimes nature consumes me, and this year has certainly grabbed my interest. I make mental notes, daily, driving to and from work. I always mean to write them down--they seem so profound, so important as the notes roll through my mind.

Ha! But here I sit, without a single note on paper...trying to conjure up something worth reading.

So...I travel back-roads out to the four-lanes as I make my way to work.  Today, as I passed crimson sumac and Ash trees that looked like they glowed gold beneath purple leaves, I thought about my grandmother driving a horse and buggy to church out at St. Johns.  Down across the log bridge that crossed our tiny "crick", out the lower lane to Smith Road--where the Smiths lived--you know where the fellas all played cards and drank local made hard-stuff. I hear, as the old timers used to say, that hard stuff will make you drink a glass of fresh ground horseradish on a dare...and then nearly die.

Ugh, tangent...sorry, then grandma made her way up out of Rough Run hollow to the church a few miles away. 

One more tidbit, always grind your horseradish in a month that contains the letter "r".

Tangent done.

I know...I know...I write fiction.  But, really, my grandma driving a horse and buggy to church?  Straight goods.  My dad was 40 years old when I was born, and his mom was near 40 when he was born, and I am ...yea...I am over 40 now <by 11 years>.  Did I just write that out loud? I thought I was just thinking it ;-)

I reckon that my grandma was rather consumed by nature as well.  The weather, the timing of the first frost, or the last snow must have played heavily on her world.

But, in my world, not so much out of necessity, but more so out of just a love of wondering about things that defy an explanation or an understanding...let alone any kind of predictable schedule.  And the timing of "visual" autumn is very much like that.

Which lead me to wonder about the old folklore...or as I like to put it, "The old timers used to say...". But even with all of my wondering, I have rarely thought to set down the words so I could check on them after a season has passed to see just how true their lore rings.

Winter was --and out here in the country, in the farming part of the world still is, the season that garnered so much speculation, and had so many natural predictors.

I am setting down some words, my prediction for this winter, based solely upon folklore...or the crystal ball I keep hidden for just such tasks.

The hornet's nests are high...so deep snow will abound.

The nut trees are loaded, the butternut tree behind the house is grand central station to the squirrels right now.  A hard winter ahead.  Nature takes care of its own.

The wooly-bears are mighty black with very narrow brown ends on them. Mild start, long cold winter, then a late mild spring.

The apple trees, the hawthorns and even the wild grasses produced abundantly.  Long winter.

Tough apple skins, cold winter--yes, they are tough.

So, my prediction is...there will be a winter :-)

Winter will be a great time to catch up on writing, do some x-country skiing, and plan what will go in my garden after that late, mild, spring :-)

Other than that, a writing catch-up. I am pushing to finish to Aaydan's Tale. I hope to get that off my desk in time to participate, first time ever, in NaNoWriMo (NationalNovelWritingMonth).  I just signed up for it this evening. Woohoo! For any writers who are interested in a fun challenge and an opportunity to network with other writers, check here: 

National Novel Writing Month

It is free and a great learning experience--from all I have gathered from past participants. The idea is to write a 50,000 word novel in November.  The focus is on output!  No emphasis placed on editing.  The idea is to write, write, write...

On a personal note, my husband is having surgery first thing in the morning, so if I am scarce for a while...that will have a lot to do with it.

My crystal ball shows, editing, writing, and then shoveling snow.

What does your crystal ball show?


  1. My crystal ball is not really crystal at all, Momzee. It's more of a colorful, mosaic sphere, reflecting the world around me in its tiny mirrors. Fragments of me gaze back and I am reminded that I'm in this world, so I must take part in the happenings outside of my mind. :) Cross country skiing sounds lovely. Memories of the farm abound and you are central in my mirrors of the past. <3

  2. Hope all goes well with Dave's surgery. Trying to catch up on some of my reading. Keep me posted. Love ya (bunches of hugs)

  3. Hope your husband's surgery goes on fine. Thanks for your FB email and the above written piece. It is enjoyable to read and it makes you start thinking about winter... And thanks for the link, will check that out too. : )
    You take care too!!!!

  4. Great post! The Virginia mountains were full of color this morning. Wishing a speedy recovery for your husband. Take care.

  5. Beautiful post Teresa and I love your words as well!

    Autumn does remain my favorite season with the colorful flowers and leaves all over and winter is the time I prefer going into hibernation (lol!)but yes that is the time to take care of things that need to be done, bask in the sun with laptop and sit and write- write and write.

    I do intend taking my writing blog further onto WordPress and working on my family blog as well. I do hope and pray the surgery went off well.

    Take care and thanks for sharing a great post :)

  6. Zigzee..oh my, the "...mirrors of the past." Yes, we had some fun out on the skis, X-country and downhill :-) I am so glad that you are part of this world I live in. You make it such a better place :-) Love you...

  7. Marsy, it went well :-) Thanks for reading this while you are catching up on your reading :-) Love and a big hug to you :-)

  8. Marjaan, his surgery went well. Today is a pretty rough day. He is sleeping now. I am so excited for you--checking out the NaNoWriMo! I hope that you do it. Even if you don't finish a novel, it will be invaluable experience and a good start networking with other writers. We are rapidly becoming each others voices in the book marketplace. Thanks for reading this... Hugs :-)

  9. I love the mountains of Virginia, Dianna! I think living in a forested area gives us a great appreciation for the chartreuse of spring, the deep green of summer, and the coat of many colors the forest wears in autumn. :-) Thanks for reading this :-) Hugs to you, take care
    as well...

  10. Harleena, thanks for taking the time from your busy day to read this post. The surgery went well, now on to recovery and in several weeks, physical therapy starts. I will have to check your blogs for PT information and advice.

    Autumn is beautiful. It seemed to go on forever when I was younger,but now it zooms right by. I see today that the leaves are well past prime, and near half are already on the ground...then my thoughts turn to the holidays.

    I will be putting up a gingerbread blog--when I find the time.

    Thanks again for reading this, all the advice you generously share with others, and your kind words :-)

  11. You will tell from my own blog that Autumn and I are buddies. She is my muse and I've spent quire a lot of today capturing her on film. As for the future, well I don't have a crystal ball, Teresa, but I do have crystals and a set of tarot cards, which show me finding my potential and recognising my passions. I'm choosing to interpret that as meaning that I'll succeed in my Chartered Treasury exams and that I'll pull together the novels that have been in my head for so long. One of them already has a shape thanks to last years NaNoWriMo but this year I'll be doing cash forecasts and money management while you are playing with words. I hope you enjoy the NaNo experience - I can certainly recommend it and, when I finally get a novel that I think is worth sharing I hope you'll have one too. K x

  12. My crystal ball, works best when I sleep. The things I feel, smell, and see; are what brings the words to the page. Other times all it takes is someone's blog, or a pic and bang I am off. Funny thing is I never know where or how the words will come. Nor do I know where they are going until the pen is laid to rest....
    Peace to you